The City’s development authority approved a plan yesterday to kick in $15,000 to establish a development office foundation in Olongapo, its sister city in the Philippines.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority’s fiscal year 2017 budget included the amount to support the foundation. The foundation would be part of the Virginia Beach and Olongapo Business Development Office, according to a presentation Tuesday by Scott Hall, business development coordinator for the City’s Department of Economic Development, who spoke during a meeting of the authority. The partnership of Virginia Beach and Olongapo was formally approved October 2014, Hall said.
The transfer of the $15,000 should take place in the next few weeks, Hall said in a phone interview Wednesday.
“The purpose of the office is to support and promote the creation of new jobs and capital investments in both cities,” Hall said during the meeting Tuesday. The office is also intended to expand trade opportunities, he added.
A non-paid 12-member board of directors will advise the foundation and consult with the development authority. It will be made up of:
- Warren Harris, director of economic development for the City
- Scott Hall
- Roy and Naomi Estaris, of The Travel Outlet, a Virginia Beach travel agency specializing in Philippine travel destinations
- Jose Ledonio of Washington D.C.
- Attorney Christian Diaz of Manila
- Jong Cortez, of Olongapo
- Cynthia Paulino, of Olongapo
- Jordan Dizon, of Olongapo
- Luis Ramirez, Jr., of Olongapo
- Charles Padrigo, of Olongapo
- Polyne Llanora, of Olongapo
In order to certify the foundation, the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines requires a bank deposit of P1,000,000, which is about $21,526 U.S. dollars, according to Hall. The development authority will transfer $15,000 to the Law Firm of Diaz Del Rosario and Associates to assist in the certification. An additional P325,000, or roughly $7,000, will be provided by board member Charles Padrigo.
The $15,000 will be used for office operations of the foundation’s board, administrative expenses, marketing materials and resources. The funds allocated by the development authority for the foundation will not be used for any political events or activities, Hall said during the meeting. Expenditures will require three signatures of foundation board members, including a Virginia Beach member.
An annual budget for the Virginia Beach Olongapo Development Office Foundation has not yet been determined, Hall said during the meeting. However, current fundraising plans are in the works to ultimately create a self-sufficient operation, he said.
The Virginia Beach and Olongapo Business Development Office was created in 2015 to promote economic and business opportunities in both cities, according to the website for the Department of Economic Development.